March 20, 2020

An Update from Counterpoints Arts

Collaborative commission, 5Rs – Recognise, Risk, Reimagine, Rebuild, Redistribute – Who Are We? Project at Tate Exchange, May 2019. Image by Marcia Chandra.


Dear friends,

Our first thoughts are with you all – that you and your loved ones are safe in these unprecedented and deeply challenging times. We send solidarity and wishes of care your way.

Like many other teams and organisations in the arts, culture and social change sectors, we are making adjustments and changes in this period of COVID-19. But our working principle and motto at this point is ‘creative contingency, not cancellation’.

To this end, we will continue our commitments to the many extraordinary artists, partners and wider networks that we have had the privilege to work alongside.

To do so, we will move several of our projects and activities onto the digital and online space. With your collaboration and insight, we will make this happen and keep everyone informed of progress – as a collective.


Refugee Week

We are currently talking to our networks and partners about delivering Refugee Week 2020 as a digital festival this June. We will offer support to Refugee Week events that are postponed until later in the year – whenever they might happen.

We aim to continue the strong tradition of Refugee Week of bringing people together across difference and distance, especially at a time when we are in urgent need of social and cultural connection.


Productions and commissions

With much of these planned to take place between March and June, expect many (many!) conversations with the Counterpoints Arts’ team in the next while about contingency plans. We’ll be working with our venue partners on postponing events, commissions, residencies and learning labs.


Artist support

As ever, none of the work of Counterpoints Arts could thrive without the input of artists, freelancers and other partners. We want to explore the opportunities created by moving to the virtual sphere to offer meaningful support and mentoring for anyone who is experiencing isolation and is precarious.

We’ll be in touch with you so that we can put our heads together about what your immediate needs might be.


Funders and friends

Thank you all – our funders and friends – for your moving messages of support and assurance over the last while. We send reciprocal and equally warm wishes to you all in these uncertain times.


COVID-19 has thrown up and revealed the many fault lines around social inequality, but we are already seeing communities rally in a whole range of unanticipated ways, expressing solidarity and acting locally plus extending empathy across real and imagined borders.

In particular, we’re thinking about the invisible heroes: the intrepid frontline workers across all areas of the health sector, the many volunteers choosing to support diverse communities in need and the people and businesses who are continuing to offer vital local services.

The Counterpoints Arts’ team is now working from home and remotely. But please continue to talk with us on our work emails – we are keen to keep the conversation flowing with you all. Don’t hesitate to make contact.

Counterpoints Arts’ Team